social impact report & annual statement

Start Up Loan

How much can I borrow?

Start or grow your own business with a government-backed Start Up Loan delivered by BEF. Borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed rate of 6% per annum. Repay over 1 to 5 years with no penalty for early repayment.

Borrow up to £25,000 to start or grow your business.

What is a Start Up Loan?

Starting a business can be an exhilarating yet daunting journey. A crucial part of this journey is securing the necessary funding to bring your business idea to life. Start Up Loans offer a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality.

A Start Up Loan is a personal loan for business purposes for a term of 1 to 5 years at a fixed rate of 6% per annum. Applications must be aged 18 or over at the time of the application. A credit check will be completed.

As a Business Support Partner for the Start Up Loans scheme, Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) support individuals based in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East.

Key loan features

  • Loan amount: Borrow up to £25,000 (BEF average loan size = £11,500).
  • Interest rate: 6% fixed. Take advantage of a low interest rate to help start or grow your business.
  • Repayment terms: Enjoy flexible repayment options spanning 1 to 5 years.
  • One business, four loans: Up to four partners or directors can each apply for a Start Up Loan for the same business.
  • Additional benefits: Take advantage of no arrangement fees, no early repayment fees, and up to 12 months of complimentary post-loan mentoring

Representative example

For a Start Up Loan of £11,000 loan repayable over 5 years. 60 monthly payments of £212.66. Rate of interest 6% per annum fixed. Total amount of credit is £11,000. Total interest payable £1,759.60. Total cost of credit £1,759.60. Total amount payable is £12,759.60

Loans of up to £25,000 are available from the Start Up Loans Company. Rates and terms will vary for other loan products from BEF should you not be eligible for the loan. Further information, and terms and conditions are available on request.

Why should I consider a Start Up Loan?

Start Up Loans are not just about financial assistance; they're a stepping stone to success. They come with numerous benefits, including:

  • Access to capital to start or grow your business without giving up equity.
  • Mentorship and support from experienced business advisors.
  • Resources and tools to help you plan, start, and manage your business effectively.

A Start Up Loans success story

A Leeds-based chiropractic clinic received £40,000 in Start Up Loans to set up a standalone premises and buy equipment to offer patients a range of wellbeing services.

We spoke to Start Up West Yorkshire and were recommended the Business Enterprise Fund who have been fantastic. They clearly understood our vision and the entire process was straightforward, taking the stress out of launching a brand new business.”

- Jeff Ben Mayor, director, The Spine Guy

Am I eligible for a Start Up Loan?

To qualify for a Start Up Loan you need to:

  • Be 18 years old or above
  • Live in the UK
  • Start a new business or have been running one for up to 36 months
  • Not be able to access money from somewhere else. A self-declaration is all we need to understand your situation.
  • Own a UK-based business
  • Have the right to work in the UK
  • Meet the scheme's rules for your business and what you need the loan for
  • Pass credit checks and show that you can pay back the loan

Meeting these criteria means you’re on the path to unlocking your business's potential with a Start-Up Loan. Ready to start? Apply for a Start Up Loan today >

Ready to take the first step towards your business dream?

The process starts with a simple online application.

Why choose BEF?

We've provided Start Up Loans since the programme began in 2012. In the last year, we delivered 826 Start Up Loans totalling £9.5m. This investment helped create 661 jobs and safeguard 602 jobs.

Our client-first approach means:

  • We recognise that you and your business are unique, and treat you accordingly
  • You will receive support from a dedicated Investment Manager who's there just for you
  • Our lending decisions made by real people, not computers

Apply for a Start Up Loan today >

Frequently asked questions

Have questions? We have answers. If you don't see your question here then reach out to us via our contact page.

What can I use my Start Up Loan for?

You can use your loan for lots of different things that will help your business, like buying equipment, getting stock, renting a place, or promoting your business.

But remember, you need to explain in your business plan and cash flow forecast how you'll use the loan to make your business better. You should describe what you'll do with the money and how it will help you start or grow your business.

You can't use the loan to pay off debts, cover training or education costs, or invest in opportunities that aren't part of building a lasting business.

Do I need to provide security?

No, you don't put up any assets or personal guarantee as security. What's more, you don't have to pay any fees for the application or early repayment of your loan.

How long does it take to receive a loan?

Usually, it takes about six weeks to get everything sorted, but it can be different for everyone. Once you send in your application, one of our Investment Managers will help you move things along.

We've noticed that the more you stay in touch and work with your advisor, the faster you'll get your loan.

Can I buy a franchise with a Start Up Loan?

Yes, you use a Start Up Loan to purchase a franchise.

Can I use a Start Up Loan to purchase a business?

Yes, you use a Start Up Loan to purchase a an existing business.

Can I still apply for a Start Up Loan if I have a poor credit history or credit impairments?

Don't worry if your personal credit history isn't great – it won't automatically stop you from getting a Start Up Loan. But we do take it into account when we're looking at your application. We want to make sure we're lending responsibly, so we'll check how you've managed money before and if you can handle paying back the loan now.

Because of this, we can't lend money to people with some credit issues. These can include things like:

  • You are filing for or currently bankrupt or on a Debt Relief Order (DRO)
  • You have an outstanding Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) or Trust Deed

Just to let you know, each application is looked at on its own, and sometimes we might say no for other reasons related to credit. This is especially true if giving a loan might make it hard for someone to handle their money.

Do BEF support businesses led by women?

Yes, we do.

Last year we delivered 826 Start Up Loans. 41% of these loans supported businesses led by women. We are ready to support you too.

Do BEF support businesses led by ethnic minorities?

Yes, we do.

Last year we delivered 826 Start Up Loans. 34% of these loans supported businesses led by ethnic minority founders. We are ready to support you too.

Where can I learn more about running a start-up business?

The Open University provides a selection of free courses perfect for individuals starting their own business for the first time.

The courses provide rich information covering subjects such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career and Leadership
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Sustainability
  • Project Management

Explore the courses.

Important Legal Information

The Start Up Loans Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc. It is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, registration number 08117656, registered office at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, England, WC2H 9JQ.

British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at

Why choose BEF?

Flexible finance delivered responsibly and fairly

A personal approach to business

We don't do impersonal letters or automated phone services - every client gets connected with a real member of our team.

Personalised service tailored to you

Our loans are open to all sectors and are crafted to meet your specific needs.

We don't rely on algorithms

We see each client as a unique individual, and we evaluate their business in the same personalised manner.

Find support to help you through your application here

The application process

Please complete your application on the Start Up Loans website

Following a quick eligibility check, you will be asked to register your personal details, complete a credit check, and submit your business information and supporting documents. Once completed, one of our Investment Managers will review your application.

Need help with your application? Contact our Investment Management team

Apply Now

What our clients say

Our clients tell the story best, see how Start Up Loans helped them.

Chique photography logo

“We were put in touch with Julie from BEF. She was absolutely brilliant and gave us all the help and advice we needed”

Venture Cycles. A satisfied BEF client.

“The shop needed a lot of work to complete it so I used my own savings to get it just right. I then used BEF’s funding to help fill it with stock.”

Spark:York. A satisfied BEF client.

“We'd like to say a huge thank you for all the support we've received from everyone involved in maketing Spark:York happen.”